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Student project a great challenge
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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One truly neat project going on right now is the Green M.I.L.K. Project at Midway Middle School.  The MMS Builders Club members are not strangers to Keep Liberty County Beautiful or recycling. The club has helped with numerous recycling and litter prevention projects in the past several years, including campus cleanups with the Great American Cleanup, Rivers Alive Cleanups, Return the Warmth recycling contests and Recycle4Liberty recycling.
They placed in the top 10 in the Return the Warmth program and won the school system Recycle4Liberty recycling contest this spring after a super-tight race with Lewis Frasier Middle School — another active recycling schools.
So it came as no surprise when the club found out that Dr. Chris Draffin, nutrition director for the Liberty County School System, made the switch from milk cartons to plastic bottles and set up a recycling system. The Builders Club volunteered to help implement a campaign to kick off the new recycling program.
Joy Kennedy, the club advisor, wanted to enter the club as a team in the Scholastic Lexus Challenge and the project was a natural fit for the competition. The Lexus Eco Challenge is an opportunity for teens across the nation to make a difference in the environmental health of our planet. The competition offers options for projects focused on environmental issues about land, water, climate and air. The Green M.I.L.K. Team, made up of 10 Builders Club members, chose waste reduction as their issue.
Reducing the amount of waste entering the waste stream saves landfill space. By capturing these milk bottles for recycling, the team is preserving more natural resources for other uses.
What does the Green M.I.L.K. Team stand for?
Midway Middle
Keeping Liberty Green
The 10 students chose several ways to promote the new recycling effort at Midway Middle. The team set up a blog with the assistance of Ms. Dover, the media specialist at MMS, to share the progress of the project with other students and the staff. Ms. Dover also helped them create “Got Milk, Liberty?” posters out of pictures of milk-mustached students, cafeteria staff and administrative staff at Midway Middle. The posters are a fun way to create interest in the theme, “Milk does a body good and recycling does the Earth good!”  
Ms. Jones, the extremely creative art teacher at MMS, worked with the students to create a plastic milk bottle mascot for the recycling campaign, “Bottle the Builder aka the M.I.L.K. Man.”  “Bottle” hangs out in the lunchroom, reminding students to recycle their milk bottles after they finish their meals.  
Ms. Kennedy, the club sponsor, and several members of the community have also worked with students on several components of the project. Phyllis Tucker with SNF Chemtall and Leah Poole, United Way director and Kiwanis member, helped students develop a PowerPoint presentation showcasing the project. They also created an online shared network that incorporates the step-by-step process for implementing the program. This will serve as a paperless, how-to manual for the other schools as they incorporate the recycling collection.  
Ms. Kennedy and David Sapp, director of the Liberty County Solid Waste Department, have helped the school determine how to measure their progress. Ms. Kennedy and I have also worked with the students on developing their report for the Lexus Challenge submission.
The students have made a tremendous effort that will impact our environment and they also developed technical skills, social networking skills and report-writing skills. The team members are Jasmine Newbould, Courtney Kuelling, Martha Fragoso-Oliver, Sarah Wright, Shanda Holthus, Chris Smith, Ale’ Zaydahr, Jonathan Campbell, Dominique Ceniceros and Austin Lino.  It is a great project and regardless of whether they are selected as national finalists for the Lexus Challenge, we already know they are winners.

KLCB announcements that you can use to help save the environment:
• Nov. 7-24: Soles4Souls Thanks4Giving collection.  Clean out your closets and bring in gently worn shoes to help people in need around the world. Go to for information.
• Nov. 9-12: Business electronics recycling collection. We’ll accept old computers and other electronic equipment for recycling from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Liberty Square shopping center in front of Goodwill, or call KLCB to make an appointment.
• Saturday, Nov. 14, 8:30 a.m.: City of Walthourville cleanup. Participants should meet at city hall. For information or to register, call 368-7501.

For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact Swida at 368-4888 or
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